Special Forces Veteran Rick Lamb is somewhat of a legend in the community. He has led soldiers in operations spanning across 49 countries and 5 continents. He was involved in almost every major battle from Operation Eagle Claw to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rick is a member of the SOCOM Commando Hall of Honor, the Ranger Hall of Fame and was 2015 recipient of the Bull Simmons Award for soldiers who embody the true spirit, values, and skills of a Special Operations warrior.
One could say that joining the Special Forces was in Rick’s DNA. He says “every man I knew or loved carried a weapon to work, either in the military or law enforcement.” He joined the National Guard right out of high school. College “didn’t take” so his Uncle suggested he make a career of the military.
His “first smell of cordite” was Operation Eagle Claw, the mission to rescue US hostages being held in Iran. Regrettably, an accidental collision resulted in a fire that killed eight service members and cancellation of the mission. However, it led to the birth of joint Special Forces operations.
On November 23, 1984 Rick was part of quick reaction force posted on the Korean border when Soviet defector Vasily Matuzok rushed across the border. This led to North Korean forces crossing the DMZ and a fire fight. The unit commanders were not present so four staff sergeants led the response. Rick’s unit surrounded the North Korean soldiers, killed several and forced them to surrender.
Rick was also involved in the 1993 “Blackhawk Down” action. He says he will never forget the look on soldier’s faces when they were told they had to go back out – but they did their duty. Rick’s vehicle got so shot up they had to abandon it. Rick received shrapnel wound in that battle that is still in his head.
Rick also shares his perspectives on the challenges our military is currently having with recruitment. He remains involved with the Round Canopy Parachuting Team & the Global SOF Foundation. He is one of the warriors featured in the With Them Frontlines video game.
TAKEAWAY: “If you train your troop, and you trust them, then you don’t need to be over their shoulder.”